2020 California Journalism Awards - Print Division

Land-Use Reporting ( Dailies: 50,001 & over)Back

  • Place Name: First Place
    Contestant Name: Los Angeles Times
    Entry Title: Million-dollar views, cheap rent and allegations of favoritism at California state parks
    Entry Credit: Melody Gutierrez
    Judge Comment: This story grabbed me from the go and held me throughout. The topic was captivating, and the quality of writing was impeccable. The reporter wove a tale of alleged abuse against a landscape of California’s most scenic and sought-after locations. The thoroughness of reporting was impressive, with sources woven through the narrative in an effortless way. The photography and headline only enhanced the entry, drawing in readers and keeping them engaged. Bravo.
  • Place Name: Second Place
    Contestant Name: Los Angeles Times
    Entry Title: Affordable housing can cost $1 million in California. Coronavirus could make it worse
    Entry Credit: Liam Dillon, Ben Poston, Julia Barajas
    Judge Comment: This entry took a deep dive into a critical topic that spans issues of equity, bureaucracy and the resulting impact on human lives. The story was well-framed, starting with a developer and ending with her voice, along with that of the person she ultimately was trying to assist. While it would be easy to get lost in definitions of all the agencies and regulations involved, the reporters did a good job simplifying elements necessary to see the big picture. The headline provided a strong entry point, and the photographs and graphics added to the overall depth. Excellent job.
  • Place Name: Third Place
    Contestant Name: The San Diego Union-Tribune
    Entry Credit: Jennifer Van Grove
    Judge Comment: This story did an excellent job laying out an issue with local appeal that could have impacts for the community far into the future. The writing was solid, with a clear explanation of the history and context, while including voices from both opponents and proponents. The reporting was thorough and the news depth was notable. The graphics and headlines provided clear entry points and enhanced the reporting. Overall the story provided a service to readers asked to weigh in on the measure at the polls. Nice job.
  • Place Name: Fourth Place
    Contestant Name: Los Angeles Times
    Entry Title: As a dying Salton Sea spews harmful dust, Imperial Valley water wars heat up again
    Entry Credit: Sammy Roth
    Judge Comment: The headline and lead on this story were excellent, capturing the reader, while the quality of writing held the reader until the end. I appreciated how the reporter took a dense, complex issue and brought out the human element, along with history, politics and ramifications. The reporting was thorough, and the news depth was impressive. The photography enhanced the article, as well.
  • Place Name: Fifth Place
    Contestant Name: The San Diego Union-Tribune
    Entry Credit: Joshua Emerson Smith
    Judge Comment: The issue highlighted in this article holds strong reader appeal, and is presented to those who may be unfamiliar with the land swap in a clear, concise way. The story is well-structured with a smooth flow of information, bolstered by reaction on both sides. The photos give the reader a good feel for the ecological reserve, and the map provides a helpful geographical perspective.